JCB unveils industry’s first mobile hydrogen refueller

JCB unveils industry’s first mobile hydrogen refueller

JCB’s large-scale hydrogen project consists of a £100 million (CAD$155 million) investment in the production of super-efficient hydrogen engines. So far, the company has already showcased working prototypes of a backhoe loader and Loadall telescopic handler powered by hydrogen.

Now, JCB has unveiled an industry first—a mobile hydrogen refueller designed to provide a quick, easy to refuel machines on site.

According to the company, around 97 percent of construction machines run on fuel that has been delivered to the site where they are working. So, for the most part, the construction industry is already used to the process of transportable fuel sources.

JCB Chairman Lord Bamford, who is leading JCB’s hydrogen project, said: “Since we became the first construction equipment company to unveil machines powered by hydrogen, many have asked how they can be refuelled. Well, today we have an answer with our new mobile hydrogen refuelling system, which allows hydrogen to be taken from on-site tube trailers and distributed to machines by our refueller as they work on the jobsite. This is no different to today when diesel is taken in bowsers to refuel machines.”

A team of 100 engineers is working on the project, and the first hydrogen-powered machine that was unveiled was a JCB backhoe loader, followed by a Loadall telescopic handler, one year ago. The technology went on to be shown in the Green Zone at COP26 in Glasgow as world leaders debated various measures to help with drastically reducing greenhouse emissions.

“Fossil fuels are not the future and hydrogen is the practical solution to powering our machines in the decades to come,” said Bamford. “Our British engineers are doing a fantastic job in developing this technology, and there are many more exciting developments to come.”